Western politics- I want out!
I came back to China a year ago, 6th of September 2018. I originally came to China teaching English in 2007. After returning from travelling around the world for 9 months, following an agreed redundancy and a nice pay off, I thought ‘let’s go teach in China’. The England I left at that time was still an optimistic and positive little Island. The nay-sayers and toffs on the right of the political spectrum where in the picture, but they were in the shadows of a society that was inclusive.
Tony Blair was standing down, and another strong and stable Labour man, Gordon Brown, was taking over. My 2007 self, a left leaning liberal minded fella, thought that England would be in rude health while I was away. Little did I know that there was a banking crisis and an economic crash on its way. I returned to the UK in 2010, to a UK that was stuggling. A Conservative government were voted in, and the harsh years of austerity commenced. They still endure.
Some how, the Conservatives were voted in twice more during the next 9 years. Austerity continued and the UK was a much less optimistic UK than I had left in 2007. Then Brexit and Trump happened in quick succession a few short years ago. Since then, a UK has emerged that is unrecognisable from the UK that used to be. America, also, is now in a political place that is unimaginable- even after the Reagan and Bush Jr years. Trump has created, on both sides of the Atlantic, a political world of fake news and right wing attitudes.
Since returning to China in 2018, I have been working in a recruitment role with Premier English, www.premierenglish.com, in the beautiful coastal city of Qingdao. In that year we have seen an increase in applicants from the UK and the USA. I have been told this has been rising since Brexit and Trump blitzed any notion of a liberal western political agenda in 2016. Is this the reason why we are seeing increased applicants coming from UK and USA. Or merely coincidence.
During the first round interview we talk to applicants mainly about their reasons for wanting to travel to China to live and work. They talk about wanting new experiences, learning about new cultures, expanding there comfort zones. There is usually an extra reason that sneaks into the tail end of this discussion. Trump if you are American, or Brexit if you are British.
Sometimes, the nationality and the reason can switch positions. This is the political climate that people seem to be running away from. They would rather come and live in a one party state like China than suffer further with what democracy and a free press has thrown up at home. This is good for the TEFL industry. More experienced applicants, better skilled applicants, better teachers, better classes, higher standards. Working for Premier English in China is a chance to escape the bitter divisiveness of American and British politics. It is a chance to develop skills and add quality to your resume. More than that, we think more people are deciding to work in China because it is a culture that reminds us what the west used to be like. Family and education values are high on the Chinese importance scale.
So, if you are sat at home in the UK or America, and you feel like Trump and Brexit are never going to end, there is an option. If you are a teacher already, come and teach were you will be valued and respected. If you want a career break, and have always wanted to teach and help people. If you want to have an amazing experience away from the grind of western democracy. Then sit down, fill in the application form, and come and work with Premier English in Qingdao, China.